The authors of the paper represent two firms that have completed hundreds of challenging subgrade and foundation projects for the rail industry. The intent of this paper is to educate the railroad business in general about alternative approaches to common geotechnical problems facing the railroad industry.
Projects have been completed across the country in nearly all geological conditions, on all of the Class I carriers, Shortlines and Mass Transit systems. Successful remediation projects associated with challenging subsurface conditions across the United States, Canada and Mexico are covered. Case histories include jet grouting for low headroom earth retention and tunnel support, stone columns for embankment support, micropiles for low headroom bridge replacement, micropiles and soil nails for earth retention, compaction, and urethane grouting for settlement of existing structures. Projects discussed include background information such as project layout, drawings and test results. Each project is completed and has a positive track record, indicating success. Projects have been specially selected to demonstrate the ability of specialty foundation solutions applicable throughout North America. Each topic provides technically sound approaches to age-old Rail road subsurface challenges. Many of these topics are not addressed in the AREMA manual; however, one of the authors, is currently addressing these topics through a proposed section of AREMA chapter 8.